Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Music from India

Continuing our study on India we had the opportunity to hear a musical presentation on traditional Indian instruments--the sitar and the tabla.  It was wonderful opportunity.  We were told that while there are some basic rules to the playing of the instruments, a lot of it is improvisational.  There are also no written notes like in western music.  This got a bit confusing for me so not sure I can explain it properly.

We met at the Indian Cultural Center  in the city and two musician gave a short introduction to the two instruments

We learned that the Sitar has 22 strings, and is very light and made from a large gourd

Close up view of the strings

The other tool needed to play this instrument was a metal clip for the plucking of strings.  It had to be quite tight on the finger which was very uncomfortable.

After a quick introduction to the nuances of the instruments the  children got to try to play the instruments learning a few notes and the proper way to sit.  We were asked to remove our sock from our left foot this is so the instrument can rest on our foot.  However many of us were unable to sit and properly hold the instruments:(

Little man having a try

Since this field trip was in the evening  Daddy was able to join us and got to have a try with the instruments.  When it was over even he said he learned something new and had a great time:)!

The next instrument we got to try was the tabla

The top of the drum have three rings to help with sounds

After a quick instruction on how to place our hands we learn a few notes.  It was a lot harder than it looks

Then everyone was able to pair up with someone and give a little performance.

After the lesson we went out to dinner at an Indian restaurant.  The kids tried Tandoori chicken and both said they loved it.
 I found this you tube video of the instruments being played.  I posted it in case you wan to hear what these instruments sound like:)  Enjoy!


  1. This looks really difficult!
    Nothing like actually trying a different instrument.

  2. Fun!
    Your kids are so well rounded!
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. 22 strings! That sounds like a complicated instrument! Do they build up callouses or something so that the pick doesn't hurt? I wonder why you can't let the instrument rest on a sock-covered foot??? Do the tablas sound or play like bongo drums?

  4. fun way to learn - we do a lot of the same sort of things ;) have a blessed week!